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Arena battle for Manchester

8 August 2020

THE DEBATE over whether the city needs a second arena has heated-up as Manchester Arena (cap. 21,000) operator ASM Global unveils plans for an upgrade to 24,000 capacity, Rival Oak View Group (OVG), also US based, is proposing a 23,500-capacity arena in the city’s Eastlands district, saying it would be…

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Government to permit indoor shows

23 July 2020

THE ANNOUNCEMENT by Prime Minister Boris Johnson that indoor performances with socially distanced audiences could take place throughout England from 1 August, has been given a cautious welcome by the Association of Independent Promoters (AIP). Johnson said that the Department of Digital, Culture Media and Sport is working with the…

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Drive-In tour abandoned over lockdown fears

23 July 2020

A SERIES of drive-in concerts at 12 sites across has been cancelled by promoter Live Nation Entertainment (LNE), which cites the potential for local lockdowns as the reason. Sponsored by energy company Utilita, the concerts promised a typical capacity of 300 cars with up to seven people per car, for…

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Vision 2025 survey focuses on future

23 July 2020

THE ANNUAL survey of festivals’ environmental practices by sustainability campaign Vision 2025 takes a different tone this year following the cancellation of all events this summer. Instead of questions about organisers’ sustainability practices during the season, the poll will ask them how their experiences this year will affect their environmental…

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Viagogo was willing to divest StubHub Europe

23 July 2020

Viagogo offered to divest itself of StubHub’s European business in a last minute bid to gain a green light from UK regulators over the controversial $4.05 billion acquisition of its secondary ticketing rival. The news was revealed on 17 July, after the Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) published a full…

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Masterclasses to help new promoters

23 July 2020

THE ASSOCIATION of Independent Promoters (AIP) hosts two online masterclasses for new promoters at 11am on Mon 27 and Fri 31 July, to address issues created by Covid-19 and explore what the future may hold. The first session Being Resilient features Conal Dodds of Crosstown Concerts and AIP’s John Rostron,…

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New concert concept offers VIP experience for everyone

23 July 2020

NORTH EASTERN promoter SSD is launching the first non-drive-in outdoor concerts since lockdown, using Unity Arena, a new socially-distanced venue set up at Newcastle Racecourse at Gosforth Park. Working with sponsor Virgin Money, SSD, which promotes festivals This is Tomorrow (cap. 15,000) and Bingley Weekender (5,000) is staging a series…

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Union Chapel extends fundraising target

23 July 2020

AFTER RAISING £80,000 and exceeding its donations target by £30,000, management at London’s 900-capacity Union Chapel (UC) in Islington doubled its target to £100,000. The venue achieved its initial target partly with the help of a fundraiser by singer/actor Jess Guise and husband Frank Turner, although most came from nearly…

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Arena for Gateshead Quays a step closer

14 July 2020

A full planning application for the Gateshead Quays development project, which includes a 12,500-seat arena to be managed by ASM Global, has been submitted by Gateshead Council’s development partner Ask: Patrizia. A joint venture between Ask Real Estate and German investment group Patrizia, the scheme comprises a 10-acre complex on…

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Dingwalls destined for Power surge when live music returns

14 July 2020

LEGENDARY PROMOTER Vince Power says September this year is the earliest London’s 500-capacity Dingwalls in Camden can reopen although it may remain closed until the New Year, depending on the Covid crisis. He tells live UK he is occupying the venue after signing a deal with an organisation he declined…

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Small venues hope to benefit from Government’s £1.57 billion

11 July 2020

GRASSROOTS VENUES’ campaigner Music Venue Trust (MVT) is hailing the Government’s £1.57 billion funding for cultural and arts organisations affected by the Covid-19 lockdown as a triumph for the sector, The Trust’s website posts the news under an archive image of pub-goers holding a sign altered to say “We Win!…

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Polar Bear takes live music back online

11 July 2020

THE POLAR Bear (cap. 200) in Hull is live streaming weekly performances until mid-August, to showcase artistes and maintain live music at the venue. Taking place every Tuesday and organised in conjunction with promoter Humber Street Sesh (HSS), the shows see artistes perform on the dance-floor area in a living…

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Phase 2 investigation into Viagogo-StubHub merger

11 July 2020

THE COMPETITION and Markets Authority (CMA) is to undertake a Phase 2 in-depth investigation into the $4.05 billion (£2.91bn) merger of the two biggest secondary ticketing operators, Viagogo and StubHub. The CMA launched an initial Phase 1 investigation into the merger in December and announced its findings in early June. It…

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Industry welcomes £1.57bn funding from Government

7 July 2020

IT IS unclear whether the government has heeded the appeal of over 1,500 artistes in early July to with its announcement of aid for culture, arts and heritage institutions. Whether the industry’s #letthemusicplay campaigned influenced its decision to allocate £4.5 billion to support the live entertainment sector is debatable, but…

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Turning point for Union Chapel

29 June 2020

LONDON’S 900-capacity Union Chapel in Islington has extended its crowdfunding goal from £50,000 to £100,000, after receiving £40,000 from an online fundraising concert by Frank Turner and his singer wife Jess Guise. The show was part of Turner’s #IndependentVenueLove campaign, which has seen him stream live performances of his albums…

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ASM claims OVG’s arena application is flawed

29 June 2020

THE OPERATOR of the 21,000-capacity Manchester Arena, ASM Global, has submitted objections to Manchester City Council in response to the Oak View Group (OVG) planning application for a new 23,500-capacity arena in the city. ASM said OVG’s application was “predicated on flawed economic analysis” and its assertion there is demand for…

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Global role for Dickins at WME

26 June 2020

LUCY DICKINS has been appointed co-head of WME’s worldwide music division following the departure in the US of WME partner and worldwide head of music Mark Geiger. Dickins joined WME has head of its UK music division in June last year, having worked at at International Talent Booking (ITB), co-founded…

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Colston name removed in wake of protests

17 June 2020

THE EXTERNAL signage of Bristol’s 1,932-capacity Colston Hall has been removed following two weeks of protest and counter-protest around the Black Lives Matter campaign, including the toppling of a statue of slave trader and philanthropist Edward Colston a few hundred yards from the venue’s front entrance. The hall, closed until…

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Benn plan to relaunch live music sector

17 June 2020

FESTIVAL REPUBLIC MD Melvin Benn (pictured) is promoting a plan to enable festivals and concerts to return without social distancing. The Full Capacity Plan eliminates the need for social distancing at events by ensuring attendees have been tested negative for Covid-19 before they are allowed entry. Under the proposed scheme,…

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Southport Theatre in liquidation

17 June 2020

SOUTHPORT THEATRE has become one of the first venue’s to closed as a result of the Covid-19 crisis. The venue’s operator Bliss Space (Southport) Ltd has gone into liquidation, blaming “devastating trading conditions” and an uncertain future. The company is in the hands or liquidator Stephen Katz of David Rubin…

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